Coliseum City Project

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By Ben

Lets go Oakland! The crowd goes wild for the Oakland teams. However it has been a struggle to get the A’s, Raiders, and Warriors to negotiate a plan that would account for the needs of all three teams to keep them in Oakland. As an East Bay resident, A’s season ticket holder, and fan of all three Oakland sports teams, it has continued to lurk my mind for years knowing that neither team is guaranteed or at all likely to stay in Oakland. The thing that I always see a lot of at A’s games and especially Raiders games is the lack of attendance. Whenever I go to the Coliseum for a game, I see it the way most people see it: an outdated claustrophobic building. However, my dad told me that before I was born the Coliseum was a nice stadium with an open view of the Oakland hills.  This was when only the A’s played at the stadium. The Raiders then moved back to Oakland from LA in 1995 and the owner, Al Davis, had demanded extra seats be built for football seating.

The city still has to pay off the Coliseums debt they’ve owed since the Raiders moved back. This is the money the city had to provide the Raiders with for those extra football seats that were built in known as Mount Davis. The debt will not be fully paid until at least 2025. The other big problem with the Coliseum is the fact that nowadays, when I go to there, I cannot see the nice views of the Oakland hills while facing the outfield due to Mount Davis blocking the view. The worst part is that these seats are no longer even used for A’s and Raiders games anymore. This really has made the Coliseum a stadium where people have not wanted to attend.

Oakland is also struggling because they have been in San Francisco’s shadow over the years. This is especially true in baseball where the Giants managed to come up with a proposal that developed one of the most spectacular modern ballparks with the opening of AT&T Park in 2000. This has significantly dropped attendance at A’s games.

If a new stadium does happen in Oakland, it would benefit not only the teams but also my children would value Oakland as a beautiful hopping city with a strong economy, rich culture, and two sports teams. According to the Contra Costa Times the Oakland City Counsel passed several key planning and environmental measures that are expected to cover 800 acres in the current Coliseum site. 5,750 new homes would be built in the area, 8 million square feet for retail office space, 4.7 million square feet for lab research, and 1 million square feet of hotels. If all goes right this main attraction would include a modern ballpark architecture baseball stadium and a new football stadium. However, the Warriors, the one team that hasn’t struggled with attendance or ownership already have an arena plan in San Francisco and the A’s owner Lew Wolf is not in with sharing the land with the Raiders.  Also Raiders owner, Mark Davis, is refusing to allow development for the new baseball stadium as he claims there would not be enough parking lot room for the fans if the baseball and football stadium get built.

As a long time die hard Oakland sports fan, it has made it difficult to see everyone focusing on the disputes between the team ownerships instead of focusing on the actual teams themselves. If this deal does come through, which I hope it does, it would be a huge sigh of relief for me to know that my teams are in stable condition with where they play and the focus would shift to the teams themselves.

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